Nuneaton aims to oust UEFA Cup side Boro

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Nuneaton has only made it to the third round of the FA Cup twice before and didn't get any further.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:39 IST
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Nuneaton has only made it to the third round of the FA Cup twice before and didn't get any further. Now Roger Ashby's team aims to knock out a Premier League club, which is hoping to end the season with a European title. Nuneaton is 99 places behind UEFA Cup side Middlesbrough in the English soccer league pyramid and hosts Steve McClaren's team at its 6,000-capacity Manor Park ground where it has gone unbeaten for 13 months. One of four non-league clubs in the third round of soccer's oldest and most famous domestic cup competition, Nuneaton has home advantage against Boro, which is sliding toward relegation trouble in the league despite its impressive performances in Europe. Burton Albion hosts record 11-time FA Cup winner Manchester United, Northwich Victoria goes to Premier League last-place Sunderland and Tamworth goes to League Championship Stoke City. Poor form The odds are that none of the four minnows will survive, but Nuneaton hopes to catch McClaren's side while its form is poor. "A draw would be a wonderful result but we're going out to try to win the game, of course we are,'' said Nuneaton goalkeeper Darren Acton. "It's a tall order for a non-league side to beat a Premiership side but there's going to be an upset somewhere along the line in the cup so why not on Saturday?'' The Premier League side was stunned on Friday when its own goalkeeper, World Cup-bound Australian international Mark Schwarzer, demanded a transfer from the club which reluctantly agreed to it. "We are disappointed that Mark has made this decision but respect his feelings,'' McClaren said. "In the football club's best interests, we have agreed to his transfer request and will listen to any offers we receive.'' Busy team The likelihood is that Acton will be facing Boro's other Aussie goalkeeper, Brad Jones. But he will also come face to face with a third Australian on the Middlesbrough lineup, striker Mark Viduka. "We've done our homework,'' Acton said. "I've watched Middlesbrough on the television and done a bit of research, which means I know if Mark Viduka takes a penalty, he likes to hit them straight down the middle. "Undoubtedly we're going to have our work cut out, we know that, but we'll work hard and hope it's one of those games where things really go for us," he added. Acton noted that Nuneaton has been one of the busiest teams in this season's FA Cup. (AP)

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